If you’re a player just like us, then you like to try something new every once in a while. You’re probably tired of all the clones that exist in the videogaming landscape, from generic MMORPGs with so-called cute anime graphics to pay-to-win strategy games. We like to try out games with cool settings and refreshing mechanics, and that’s exactly what we did in this top. It’s our first volume filled with Free MMO Games That Try Something New.
10: GHOST RECON ONLINE (TACTICAL SHOOTER)
Ubisoft brought the acclaimed Ghost Recon series to the free-to-play market with Ghost Recon Online and along with it a breath of fresh air to the online shooters. The template was tired to death with all the CrossFire, Combat Arms and such, so the genre was very stale. Ghost Recon Online brought a nice tactical aspect to the shooting, with several customization options and truly team-based gameplay – this time it’s for real, not just some PR talk.
9: TERA (ACTION COMBAT)
Tera was one of the first proper action combat MMORPGs, along with Dragon Nest and Vindictus. This is no small feat; instead, this is one of the most important events in recent MMO history, changing the dull point and click combat system to something way more exciting and suitable for today’s basic gaming demands. Other games followed but none of them yet managed to surpass the quality of the fighting showcased in Tera.
8: PRIME WORLD (CITY-BUILDING AND MOBA MIX)
Hailing from Russia, Prime World has slowly but surely grown on players tired of the same old MOBA system. By adding city-building and collectible card mechanics to the MOBA gameplay, Nival managed to spice up its game and capture the attention of a lot of players. This is probably a game that other studios will look to borrow some ideas, something that we totally approve.
7: SMITE (THIRD-PERSON MOBA)
While the MOBA games are coming fast and thick, all of them just seem to go for the top down view made popular by the original Dota as well as the extremely successful League of Legends. And then a game appeared, one that dared to change the viewpoint and distinguish itself from the rest: Smite. This move was very well received by fans of the genre, making Smite one of the most appreciated MOBAs nowadays, thanks to the high quality and original gameplay that wouldn’t be possible without taking this risk.
6: THE MIGHTY QUEST FOR EPIC LOOT (DIABLO MEETS DUNGEON KEEPER)
There isn’t quite anything quite like The Mighty Quest For Epic Loot, a mix of Diablo-inspired hack and slash and Dungeon Keeper castle building. It’s a game of two halves and with a great competitive focus – with your hero you invade the castles designed by other players and loot them, so that you can use the rewards to add rooms, enemies and traps to your castle, protecting it from the other players’ invasions. The whole thing is exciting, original and at times really funny.
5: WORLD OF WARSHIPS (NAVAL WARFARE)
The third game in the Wargaming series, after the worldwide success of World of Tanks and World of Warplanes, World of Warships tackles an even more difficult theme. While there’s little to no competition in the naval combat genre besides a few browser games, the bar is set very high by the previous two games in the series. Info is scarce but we’re very confident in the ability of the now huge studio to deliver a slow-paced and extremely engrossing tactical wargame.
4: KINGDOM UNDER FIRE 2 (ACTION COMBAT MEETS RTS)
Kingdom Under Fire 2 takes the somewhat flawed series to ambitious new heights. The mix of brutal action combat against hundreds of enemies and huge bosses is made that much better thanks to the realtime strategy elements. The only thing better than slashing through crowds of creatures is to command your archers to take out the enemy squadron that was attacking you from a distance. It all blends perfectly, smoothly, and the idea should definitely be used in more action MMO games.
3: LOADOUT (IN-DEPTH WEAPON CUSTOMIZATION)
The unsuspicious Loadout turned out to be a whole lot of fun, but this shooter is way more than that. Edge of Reality made a great job with the cartoon look but an even better job of the weapon customization. It’s not very often that we see a customization system where you can really make the weapon of your dreams – if you dream of those things, that is. But more seriously, it’s all extremely in-depth and the results can be both very funny and effective. This is one feature that no proper shooter should do without from now on.
This one was a close tie between EverQuest Next and Peria Chronicles, two upcoming games that are getting a lot of players excited. Or should we say three games, since there’s also Landmark? Anyway, let’s move on. Both games give players advanced tools to transform the terrain and create all types of buildings and props, offering an unprecedented level of user content creation that is only rivaled by MineCraft – albeit in a less blocky, more detailed way. We know how these games can break easily and get destroyed by a bad community, but we’re very excited by the potential of these endless and always surprising worlds. We like our rollercoaster MMO as much as the next guy, but nothing beats complete freedom and the power of imagination.
1: CHROMA (MUSIC-DRIVEN FPS)
We’ve probably seen something like Chroma sometime, somewhere. Most likely a prototype, or a freeware game created by some experimental developer, but we don’t really recall any kind of solid first person shooter with music gameplay mechanics. Chroma is also made by the big music videogame expert, Harmonix, makers of Rock Band and Dance Central, so it’s bound to be good. On the other hand, Hidden Path Entertainment, makers of CounterStrike: Global Offensive, bring the guns to the mix. The game is a free-to-play music-driven team-based FPS powered by the Unreal Engine, where you can choose your weapon according to your music tastes, from electric guitars to drums or synths. Music directly affects the landscape of the battlefield and the gameplay mechanics, from combat to navigation. This should be something awesome if made right.
That’s it for now, a few games that dare to bring something new instead of just rehashing the same old ‘kill 10 monsters, get reward’ stuff that we’re, quite frankly, bored to death with. Some will succeed, others will fail, but we’ll salute each and every one that tries to bring some excitement to the MMO genre and, ultimately, to us, players. Show them your appreciation in the best way – by playing them!